Sunday, April 28, 2013

Racing for the Cure

It starts with a story and then ends at the finish line. For some it begins with feeling a lump while showering or getting that unwanted call. For me it's a loving Aunt, a strong mother, and my own scare. My Aunt Rachel found a lump in her breast. It was cancer. A fellow MOPS mom was having complications after giving birth; it was breast cancer. I had a large mass in my left breast. What could it be? For each of us the road was uncertain.

Aunt Rachel found herself having many chemo treatments followed by a full mastectomy. She is in remission now.

The MOPS mom fought a hard battle. They didn't discover the cancer until it was too late. She died. I remember reading the email from her family. The tears rolled down my face as I imagined her husband and her three small children without her. It was surreal,  a young mother dying of breast cancer. It wasn't a disease for the old or the unhealthy, it effected everyone.

My scare began with a cyst that wouldn't stop growing. I scheduled to have it surgically removed. When the doctors operated they discovered it was more than a cyst, but a large mass. A biopsy was done, but thankfully it was benign. A scar on my left breast reminds me of that scare plus yearly visits to my doctor.

Last year was my first time running in the Komen Triangle Race for the Cure event. It's not just a race; it's a celebration for the women in our lives who have been effected by breast cancer. Some of them survivors and  others who fought courageous battles to the end, yet for both of them a time of remembrance.

Pink and white tents cover the front field at Meredith College, a bounce house in one corner and stage with a band performing on the other. Runners in pink shirts, tutus and knee high socks crowd around the starting line. It's a sea of pink. The adrenaline is rising and the gun shot is heard and off we go. I remember thinking about Aunt Rachel, the MOPS mom and myself during the run. They stayed the course on their own race, and now as if the baton was handed to me, I would carry their name and their memory to the finish line.

Yes, someday soon; there will be a cure to breast cancer!

*This year (June 14, 2014) I'm teaming up with Vend Raleigh Mompreneurs and organizing a team of moms, sisters, and friends. We are also partnering with local businesses to offer team t-shirts. Visit Team Vend Raleigh Mompreneurs to join the team. Email Rachel to become or learn more about becoming a sponsor.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

You can do it!

One of my best motivational tools is hearing other people's success story. I love when they share their before pictures and how they overcame the discouragement of choosing to eat healthy and exercising. I think the hardest part is making a start-- joining a gym, cutting out soda and fast food or just making a change.

I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with my youngest son and by the time I gave birth I weighed 200 lbs. I felt awful about how and looked and my lack of energy. I needed to make some serious changes.

 So I set up some goals.
1.Be able to play and keep up with my boys
2. Run a 5k.
3. Feel confident about my appearance

The change wasn't immediate, taking care of a newborn is tough. First I waited till my son was sleeping through the night. Then I began to cut soda out of my diet and eating smaller portions. The Fitness Pal app was a wonderful tool. It helped me track my calories and workouts based on my goal weight. Then I started the program that really jump started my fitness goals. I was running three times a week and feeling great. My clothes began to feel looser. One of the things I learned was that eating healthy and exercising are the key to weight loss. You must do both to see results. Last June, I ran my first 5k (Komen Race for the Cure). I hadn't finished the  program, but I still finished the race in 42:34 minutes.

Then in the fall, I joined the gym, Fitness 19 in Cary. I worked with a trainer a couple times to help me focus on trouble areas, and then I found my true love--strength training. I forgot how much I enjoyed this ( I used to lift weights in high school and college).

When I joined the gym last September, I weighed 165 lbs and my goal was to loose 30 lbs and wear a bikini by summer time. Since joining, I have been consistently going to the gym three times a week. The kids got hit hard with sickness over the winter, we battled pneumonia, multiple ear infections, croup and most recently the dreaded stomach bug. So there were weeks that I didn't step foot in the gym. That is when the fitness blogs and Pinterest came in handy. I found step-by-step workouts to do at home, so I could keep up my momentum.

The pounds didn't fall off either, it was a gradual process. I weighed myself once a month and the results kept me motivated plus my clothes became looser and looser.

Last week, I weighed myself. I now weigh 140 lbs. It's not my goal weight of 135, but I'm close, and I'm still working on it. I can wear a small size 6. I lost so much weight I had to sell all my summer clothes. I'm training for my third 5k, and most importantly I feel confident about myself. And, yes I've started shopping for a bikini. :)

Before - September 2011

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


You might have noticed things look different on the site. I decided to shake things up a bit and change the direction of the site. I won't be doing a monthly newsletter, but instead you can find local fitness, active fun and healthy food places on the Events and Exclusive pages. Also, blog posts will focus more on living a healthy, active lifestyle in the midst of motherhood. I would like for to be your one-stop site for all things related to fitness in your life. I would love to hear from you-- success stories, favorite fitness routines, healthy food options, etc.

Be sure to check out the Fit Mama Fest on Thursday, April 18 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m and 5:30- 8 p.m. at Waverly Place in Cary. 

This FREE event for local moms features:
Free mommy-and-me activities
(Stroller Strides workout, Toddler Dance, Totfusion playful movement, My Gym demo),
Info Session on Baby Sleep,
a variety of local family-friendly businesses providing discounts & information, food and samples from Waverly restaurants,
adorable products for your little ones,
and fabulous RAFFLE PRIZES
including a new
 BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller
to one lucky mom!!!

Fit Mama Fest will also be supporting the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. You can give online to Fit Mama Fest Supports Boston. 

Visit Fit Mama Fest for more information. I hope to see you there!

Monday, April 15, 2013

They Will Run Again

I had planned to write an amazing post this evening about eating healthy and exercising while traveling, but other things weighed heavy on my heart.

The bombings in Boston. Marathon runners. Mother runners. Children cheering, volunteers handing out water, adrenaline pumping. A bombing.

It just doesn't fit. I feel like it's not only an attack on our country, but a personal attack on the fitness community. Running is such a personal sport. You run against your time. You push yourself further with long hours of training, eating right and lots of running. Some of us run for fitness, others a challenge or for some just a get away from the pressures of the world.

Who are the anonymous cowards behind this horrific crime? Why must they use bombs to do their bidding?

An innocent child and another person is dead plus numerous injuries. One person lost a leg. Will they ever run again?  You train so long and hard for a marathon only to face this devastation. I wish I could hug each one of the victims and tell them they are my heroes. They ran the race not knowing the outcome. I would tell them to fight and not give up hope, and yes they will run again.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

April Showers, Fitness Fun!

It's April, and the weather is finally getting warmer which is encouragement enough to lace up your sneakers and enjoy some fresh air. To help you get back into the "Spring" of things, Stroller Strides is offering FREE classes all week ( April 8-13) at All their locations. Join them for up to 6 classes for free (offer valid for all who are new to Stroller Strides; not valid for those with active membership, class pass or plum district voucher). Visit Stroller Strides for a complete list of schedule and locations.

Also, be sure to mark your calendars for the Fit Mama Fest on Thursday, April 18 at Waverly Place from 9am-1pm, with an evening session 5:30-8pm for working moms. It's a celebration of fitness, family and fun. Everything that is about. The free event will include a Stroller Strides workout; Toddler Dance by APA; Creative Play & movement for moms and tots by studioVIBE; and tot class demo by My Gym of Cary, as well as a session on baby/child sleep challenges by Loving Lessons Pediatric Sleep Consultants.   There will also be arts and crafts, free massages for moms, balloons, a visit from the Chick-Fil- A cow and Menchie‚Äôs cone, a fire truck visit, and more.